Resolution of the Senate Social Concerns Committee On
Mount Graham Telescopes

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the Mount Graham telescope project has elicited over fourteen years of great controversy as a result of the project’s exemption from the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the National Forest Management Act; and

WHEREAS, Mount Graham (known as Dzil Nchaa Si An), located in southeastern Arizona is a holy place and sacred mountain to the San Carlos Apache and the White Mountain Apache, and is considered a living locus of spiritual energy, central to the religious practices and history of the Apache people; and

WHEREAS, any permanent modification of the present form of Mount Graham constitutes a display of profound disrespect for the San Carlos Apache and White Mountain Apache as well as a serious threat to the survival of a number of endangered species; and

WHEREAS, the University of Minnesota’s involvement in this project tarnishes the image of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the surrounding communities,

WHEREAS, the Senate Social Concerns Committee stands behind its previous statement that “On ethical, material, political and cultural grounds, we cannot afford to join the MGIO [Mount Graham International Observatory] project,” and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Senate Social Concerns Committee at the University of Minnesota hereby still strongly opposes any involvement by the University of Minnesota in the Mount Graham telescope project; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Senate Social Concerns Committee opposes the University of Arizona’s request to the U.S. Forest Service in 2002 that they be allowed to place additional telescopes on Mount Graham; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Senate Social Concerns Committee seeks to have the University of Minnesota withdraw its participation in the Mount Graham telescope project, break its affiliation with the University of Arizona Department of Astronomy and the Research Corporation that controls the telescopes on Mount Graham, and find a more suitable place to conduct astronomy;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Senate Social Concerns Committee that a copy of this resolution will be presented to the University Senate, the Faculty Senate, and the Student Senate, as well as the President and Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota.

Approved by the Social Concerns Committee, May 5, 2003